Two paintings by Cals acquired by French museums

1. Adolphe-Félix Cals (1810-1880)
Banks of the Oise in Compiègne, 1859
Oil on canvas - 31 x 41 cm
Compiègne, Musée Vivenel
Photo : Musée Vivene

13/3/08— Acquisitions — Compiègne, Musée Vivenel and Honfleur, Musée Eugène Boudin — Adolphe-Félix Cals, thanks to his patron Count Doria, often travelled to the Oise region between 1859 and 1876. It is thus natural that the Musée Vivenel in Compiègne would want to acquire a painting by the artist. This is now the case after the purchase of a beautiful landscape (ill. 1) dated 1859. The work came up for auction in Senlis on 29 June 2006, then in Barbizon on 3 July 2007 where it was not sold. The museum was finally able to acquire it in July 2007. In 1859, Cals went to stay at the Château d’Orrouy, the home of Count Doria who owned the painting. According to Eric Blanchegorge, curator of the museum : “Cals was inspired by the immediate surroundings in Compiègne. The scene is not far from the gas factory authorized by King Louis-Philippe in 1846, close to Gabriel’s Canal aux Glaces. The banks of the Oise across from the Island des Bains, due to the many bathing extablishments there, are easily recognizable. One can see the walkway visitors would take to get there. This area of Compiègne disappeared during World War II and the reconstruction that followed. The island today is only a passing point for barges and the factory was razed about twenty years ago. This endearing work thus evokes both a landscape artist who is known in our city and a fragment of Compiègne’s history that no longer exists.”

2. Adolphe-Félix Cals (1810-1880)
The Picnic in Saint Siméon, 1876
Oil on canvas - 55 x 84 cm
Honfleur, Musée Eugène Boudin
Photo : Blondeau-Breton

At the end of his life, Cals settled in Honfleur where he died in 1880. The museum in this city, which owns several of his paintings, purchased The Picnic in Saint Siméon [1] in 2005 (ill. 2) dated 1876. The evolution of the painter’s style from the first canvas to this one reveals a passing from a precise and smooth manner to a freer touch that is closer to the Impressionists with whom he in fact exhibited between 1874 and 1879.

Version française

Didier Rykner, dimanche 16 mars 2008


[1] From the Cabinet Blondeau-Breton.

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